The 2nd pitch (off the ledge) is definitely confusing and there are several options. First, I couldn't figure out how to climb up to the big chicken head at 5.9 - it was desperate climbing straight up, way harder than 5.9. After reading other posts here, I suppose you have to mantle on the left wall...
The trip report linked below with pictures shows they went right where the bolt is - and supertopo says "off route". That actually seems like a natural option, perhaps but we did not try it (given the clear "off route" marking). So climbed up to chicken head, up a mantle to the ledge above, then went left and up an offwidth crack full of bird sh#t (and is offroute). Very nasty and when the crack peters out, there is a loose block - best to traverse right, which is the original route/corner.
In retrospect, the correct way is to go up to the ledge above the knob, find a pin to the right, and make improbable foot traverse to the right to gain the bolt belay (which can't be seen from anywhere above... but it's about 50 feet directly up the ledge). The word description in supertopo is correct but we didn't have it with us... do *not* go up the nasty #2/#3 camalot crack with bird sh#t.
Fun adventure, and a nice climb if a bit dirty (and there is also a scary loose block at the 5.9 stem/OW...). We climbed Roofer Madness to get to the ledge, and that makes the whole climb a bit dirty/loose, much more adventurous than other Leap climbs :-) Due to the falcon closures, that only leaves late season as a reasonable time to do the route... which can be fairly cold (no sun until the very end of the day, starting at 1pm did not help).
I just climbed this route yesterday and think it does not deserve the stars given (at least as the route is described in the supertopo guide, which I believe is the route I took). The first pitch is uneventful dike-hiking, with a few loose blocks that most likely will not fall. The second pitch is definitely the business and needs to be approached with caution, especially if you are a "10a" climber. The mantle move off the ledge is fun but I would call it .9+ as you mantle to nothing but a lichen covered face. Then you head over to the vertical (bird poop filled) hand/fist crack (10a) and pull a few moves. As the crack petered out above, I found a bomber placement for my smallest DMM peanut (not too confidence inspiring). The moves going straight up the crack were insecure and the rock was poor with plenty of flaking chose covering the face all around, so I decided to traverse (10a/b) on some lichen covered sills to the right where the climbing was easier with a crack in a small corner. I continued all the way to the ledge where a peregrine kept tabs on me during the whole process by peering over until I was too close for comfort. After that you 4th class it to the top (easily in a single pitch). There is one cool section where a corner system drops down beneath you giving some good exposure. Fun, however, this is the exact spot were a piece of sill snapped under my feet leaving me hanging from my left arm, so place a little gear despite the ease of climbing. The people in the TR below look to have taken a better path through the second pitch, as the route I took was characterized by dirty and sometimes loose rock with unpleasant bird droppings throughout. Have fun :)
This climb does not deserve the 4 stars it gets in the book, it is not close to being a four star climb. It is disgraceful that someone rated this four stars. It may be a four star climb after it gets another couple hundred ascents and all the dirt and loose rock (there is plenty) gets pulled off. There is loose rock on every single pitch.
The only reason I give it two stars is because there are about 150 feet of decent climbing on it and the pro is ok.
Had a fist sized piece of a dike break off under my foot on the first pitch - this while I was being very cognizant of where I was stepping, because it was obvious the rock is not good quality.
We chose to do the 5.9 variation of Roofer Madness for the second pitch because the lasso thing did not look too appealing. I would call this 10a. This variation had loads of loose rock on on it. Third pitch is ok, but again, there are some big loose blocks on it. The last pitch or two, depending on if you break it up is just terrible. It is basically a 4th class gully that is loaded with big loose blocks.
I would not want to be behind a careless party on this climb.
If you are looking for a good, four star climb, skip this chosspile. If you are solid at the grade and you enjoy some adventure climbing, then relish this 1 or 2 star, what does the book all it, an "overlooked classic?"
The second pitch is the business fer sure. You can flip your rope up over the big chicken head to give yourself a top rope, then there are 2 ways to get up onto the chicken head - a tricky, insecure mantle to a slab far to the left of it (you'll take a massive swing and probably hit the ledge if you fall low) or a very strenuous overhanging layback straight up at it. Feels like V2+ bouldering to me, but I suck. I fell off this version and the chicken head toprope kept me off the deck. Anyway, cool, juggy traversing past an old (safe?) pin leads to wildly exposed overhanging heel-hooking and jug hauling, (don't dilly-dally lookin' fer pro, git 'er dun!) then easy ground to the bolted belay. There is a fixed pin about 12 feet left and perhaps slightly above the bolted belay. I recommend clipping it as a directional for your second before going to the belay. If your follower falls off without a directional, they end up hanging in space below you with the rope running right over one of those fabulous Lover's Leap dike edges... Suit yourself.
Also, where the ST shows "shattered rock" off to the right of the belay, now it looks like it's been cleaned up and there are 2 nice fresh looking bolts that would allow you to bypass the shenanigans described above. More of the blessed deeds of the ASCA? Has anyone done it that way?
Climbing this route we forgot the super-topo in the car -- which was a good thing, 'cause there's a wonderful variation we stumbled upon.
After the first (fun!) pitch, move the belay right to 2 bolts as described in the topo. Instead of climbing the scary (but easier?), ugly loose blocks, start 10 feet left of the 2 bolt belay. The first move is a boulder start with a (tricky) mantle move (5.10ish). Sling a phallic chicken-head, and move up 5-10 feet to a good stance (w/good pro). Traverse right 5' on a delicious hand-rail (no feet), hook that heel, and go up 2 or three ladder-rungs on good dyke holds (5.9+ - 5.10ish). Arrive 40 feet above the previous belay (directly) at the next set of rappel bolts. You could belay there, or else continue up as described in the super topo (easier ground) to a good belay ledge (a full 60m from the 2 bolts at the top of the first pitch).
Some old dude with a big beard told us that the variation we took is what he's always called the eagle buttress (maybe there's some left to right semantics that are escaping me here) ... He looked like "always" was a long time, so we should trust him on that one. But whatever, give it a go and have fun!
The route as seen from Hogsback.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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